Letter Q: Seventeenth of twenty-six posts in the April 2016 Blogging From A to Z Challenge. Wish me luck and please join me on the journey!
Quotes from relatives and ancestors enrich a family history story more fully that mere description. Letting our ancestors and relatives speak for themselves — through something they said or something they wrote — truly enlivens a family narrative.
The voice and personality of my paternal grandmother Mary Frances (Owen) Charboneau made its way into A holiday gift: My grandmother’s voice through entries from her diary.
Because she died when I was very young, I barely knew her. But inheriting my grandmother’s diary allowed me to get acquainted with her — and to let her tell parts of her own story through quotes from her journal.
My maternal grandmother’s younger sister — my mom’s Aunt Margaret (Stoutner) Rothbell — told me the story about my grandparents’ secret meetings as they waited for the chance to elope. Aunt Margaret was an eyewitness to that family drama, so I quoted her rendition in A Valentine’s Day love story: My grandmother elopes.
Then there are my Uncle Fred’s letters (he was one of my dad’s brothers) written to my paternal grandmother during World War II — expressing in his own words a longing for home during the holidays.
Quotes from contemporaries can also animate a family history story. Such as the reactions of friends and co-workers in “You’re going where?” when I told them I was headed to a U.S. Civil War reenactment. Or the initial communications from my Dempsey cousins in Shamrocks and Shared Heritage.
Do you have quotable ancestors, relatives or friends? Have you interviewed any of them? Inherited letters or other writings? Bringing them onstage can add depth to your narratives and enliven the events that shaped your ancestors lives.
Up next: Research, repositories and relaxation. Please stop back.
© 2016 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.